Juggling schoolwork with life often leaves students in limbo

Nov. 2, 2015

Scribe Staff
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Four years is how long we’re told it’s supposed to take us to get a bachelor’s degree.

This is doable for some students, but not all. Generally, it can take anywhere from three to five years to complete a degree.

When it takes longer than the expected amount, students may feel discouraged. But everyone finishes at a different rate.

Whether that is by taking six, 12 or 18 credits per semester, each student has to make this decision based on how long they want to take to get their degree.

Depending on what you have to do outside of school to make a living, it can be diffi cult to learn everything your classes offer you.

Many classes require papers, group work, presentations and weekly readings. All of this, depending on the class, can take up to 15 hours per week.

Students don’t always have extra time to fully complete their homework; sometimes they just get by.

Especially at UCCS, where a majority of students are commuters, have jobs, families, etc., our quality of education may be reduced. This isn’t intentional; most courses are structured for our maximum benefit.

But in balancing everything else with class requirements, we sacrifice what we get out of our education. Instead of reading the material we are assigned, digesting the content, and synthesizing new ideas, we reduce ourselves to copy, paste and revise.

It’s almost sad. We work so hard not only to afford our education, but for food, housing and clothes on our back. In the end, we only go to school to check the box and get the degree.

Granted, it’s not as if we don’t get anything out of school. By attending class, engaging in discussions and conducting mandatory research, we do learn some things, but it seems to only be scratching the surface.

In that textbook that we pay hundreds of dollars for, the material was written by professionals looking to impart their knowledge on the reader. When was the last time you read every chapter of a book?

So let’s take stock on some solutions.

We could just take less credits per semester. Maybe nine? That means it takes longer to graduate. So let’s cut back on hours at work? That means less money in the bank. Maybe less time with family? Unacceptable.

It seems we’re stuck then. Perhaps this problem doesn’t get a quick solution. Maybe we should start changing the way we think about why we learn.

If we stopped worrying about a degree and the magic doors it opens for us once we graduate, and focused on actually growing our minds, school may actually be enjoyable.